MAPR Faculty Mentors
Spring 2019 MAPR Faculty Mentor List
The following faculty are considering accepting new MAPR applicants into their research programs. It is strongly suggested that these specific faculty members be considered as potential mentors when completing Part D of the MAPR department application.
This procedure applies to MAPR applicants only.
Potential Mentors, Spring 2019 Admission
I am broadly interested in factors influencing psychological well-being among elders. Interested in understanding factors that have impact on elders’ subjective estimation of their life expectancy and the consequence of these estimations on psychological well-being.
My research examines the organization of childhood and family life in communities that do not have a long history of participation of schooling. In particular I examine some of the ways that families organize teaching and learning in everyday family and community life and some of the strengths associated with these forms of learning. My work has centered on families that have historical roots in the Americas (Mexico and Central America in particular) as well as in immigrant families.
I am broadly interested in assessment and treatment of internalizing disorders (i.e., anxiety, depression, traumatic stress, somatic complaints) in children/adolescents and parents. Specifically, my work focuses on (a) trying to understand risk factors for the development of these problems, and how risk and resilience factors might vary in different cultural groups, and (b) developing and improving culturally sensitive mental health services for these problems. I am currently conducting research examining youth stress response during interactions with their anxious parents. I am also conducting a pilot study to examine the role of community mental health workers in delivering a behavioral intervention for anxiety and depression to low-income Latinos in a rural medical setting.
May Ling Halim
In my primary line of research I study how, across different cultural groups, children’s gender identities develop from preschool to early elementary school. I am interested in both adherence to gender norms (i.e., girls wearing pink from head to toe) and deviation from gender norms (i.e., tomboys). I also investigate what factors lead to differences in gender identities (e.g., cognition), as well as what consequences are associated with them (e.g., intergroup gender attitudes, interest in STEM-related fields, psychological adjustment). In my secondary line of research I study how forms of group-based discrimination (ethnic, gender, language) interact with one’s identity in affecting one’s personal health and the health of one’s child.
Dr. Kohfeldt joined the CSULB psychology department in 2016. She received her B.A. in psychology and English literature from the University of San Diego, her M.S. in Social Work from San Diego State University, and her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of California Santa Cruz. As a social-community psychologist Dr. Kohfeldt is interested in contexts that support members of subordinated groups as social change agents. Her program of research focuses broadly on formal and informal learning environments (e.g., after-school programs, community organizing groups) and how these environments facilitate or hinder individual and collective empowerment and well-being. To this end, Dr. Kohfeldt’s work is community-based, collaborative, and informed by interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives and multiple methods that often combine arts and activism. Dr. Kohfeldt currently teaches Social Psychology, Community Psychology, and Psychology of Women. She is particularly interested in engaging undergraduate and graduate students as co-researchers.
My research is focused on factors that impact aggressive behavior and violence. I am interested in a variety of personality factors including trait rumination, narcissism, impulsivity, and religiosity. I have also investigated a variety of situational factors that impact aggression including collective rumination, priming aspects of religion, resource inequality, alcohol priming, and social exclusion. A related line of research investigates the impact of trait displaced aggression on romantic relationships, life satisfaction, and both mental and physical health. Please see my lab website for more information (http://www.aggression-irlab.com/).
My primary research and clinical interests are in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), with a special interest in understanding and treating coexisting psychopathology, specifically anxiety and depression, among individuals with ASD across the lifespan. Much of this work has entailed investigating physiological mechanisms underlying comorbid symptoms of stress and anxiety in youth with ASD. Additionally, my background as a clinical psychologist and my postdoctoral training in cognitive-behavioral treatments for anxiety in individuals with ASD has driven me to work toward understanding these physiological mechanisms in terms of potential targets and predictors of treatment, and to individualize interventions aimed at ameliorating coexisting psychopathology. Given evidence for particularly high rates of coexisting psychopathology and related challenges among adolescents and adults with ASD, my recent research and clinical endeavors have shifted toward this growing population of individuals on the autism spectrum.
Taste cues and feeding behavior. My research takes advantage of animal models to ask questions related to how oral signals (e.g. taste, smell, texture) send information to the brain to control feeding and drinking behavior. My approach is to use physiological procedures (e.g. pharmacology, electrophysiology, genetic manipulations) combined with behavioral measures (e.g. meal patterns, detection thresholds, preference). This allows us to begin to tease apart the relative contributions of oral stimulation, post-ingestive cues and reward-related mechanisms to eating behavior. Such studies contribute to efforts to reveal how the system is organized and in turn may also identify potential targets for therapeutic interventions for eating disorders and obesity-related complications.
Areas of interests include animal models of drug addiction and developmental neuropsychopharmacology. Specifically, my research investigates the short- and long-term neurochemical and behavioral effects of exposure to psychostimulant drugs across development (neonatal, adolescence, and adulthood), as well as determine the impact that early exposure to drugs may have on the susceptibility to abuse drugs later in life.